Welcome! Login | Register
 

Weiss: Democrats Listening to Calls to Strengthen & Expand Social Security, Medicare—Weiss: Democrats Listening to Calls to Strengthen &…

Construction in Worcester - Week of September 24, 2018—Construction in Worcester - Week of September 24,…

Smart Benefits: Could 401(k)s be the Answer to Student Debt Repayment Benefits?—Smart Benefits: Could 401(k)s be the Answer to…

2018 Farm Aid Rocks the Xfinity Theatre in Hartford—2018 Farm Aid Rocks the Xfinity Theatre in…

The Kavanaugh Court Complexities—Sunday Political Brunch September 23, 2018—The Kavanaugh Court Complexities -- Sunday Political Brunch…

What to Watch For: Patriots vs Lions—What to Watch For: Patriots vs Lions

Holy Cross Falls to Dartmouth 34-14—Holy Cross Falls to Dartmouth 34-14

Revolution Keep Playoff Hopes Alive, Play Chicago to 2-2 Draw—Revolution Keep Playoff Hopes Alive, Play Chicago to…

Monfredo: Should Secondary School Starting Time be Moved Up?—Monfredo: Should Secondary School Starting Time be Moved…

10 New Human Cases of West Nile Virus Hit MA in 2018—10 New Human Cases of West Nile Virus…

 
 

Horowitz: Clinton Soundly Defeats Trump in First Debate

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

 

Research shows that the predominant effect of debates are to reinforce candidate preferences rather than to change minds. For solid Clinton or Trump supporters, last night’s debate is unlikely to be an exception to that general rule. Both candidates’ supporters mostly likely believe that their preferred candidate won. 

But Hillary Clinton’s decisive besting of Donald Trump last night is likely to be highly persuasive for some for the remaining undecided voters and for a substantial percentage of voters now indicating support for Gary Johnson or Jill Stein, the Libertarian and Green Party candidates respectively.

Shedding her usual defensiveness when attacked, Hillary Clinton came across as poised and prepared, seeming unruffled by Trump's constant interruptions and filibustering.   In a matter of fact and conversational manner, she effectively highlighted some of Trump’s major vulnerabilities, including his record of business bankruptcies and stiffing of workers and contractors, his failure to release his income taxes, his disrespect for women and his racially tinged birther crusade against President Obama.  Just as importantly, she crisply outlined her proposals for expanding middle class opportunity as well as her ideas for confronting terrorism at home and abroad.

In contrast, Donald Trump offered few specifics, and repeated the already debunked falsehoods about being a declared opponent of the Iraq War and that Hillary Clinton was the originator of the questions about Obama’s birth. The results of his refusal to abandon these lies will be post-debate media fact-check reinforcing voters’ opinions that he is mendacious.  Further, he still offered no apology or credible explanation for his birther crusade, further insulting people’s intelligence by trying to argue that somehow this was a service to President Obama.

While Trump’s general argument about the need for change and the problems with continuing the status quo as represented by Hillary Clinton were generally appealing, his failure to provide specifics, obvious lack of command of basic policy information and aggressive and off-putting demeanor are likely to result in him winning few converts.

Before the debate, most likely voters believed that Donald Trump was not qualified to be President nor did they believe he has the right temperament for the job.  He did nothing last night to overcome these major barriers to his victory; in fact, it was just the opposite.

Hillary Clinton entered the debate as the favorite with a small, but durable lead in the national horse-race and far more paths to the needed 270 electoral votes  She emerged from last night in even stronger shape, driving home the points of contrast that work best for her: who is qualified, who has the right temperament, and who is best to lead a diverse nation. There is still along way to go in what remains a relatively close race. We may look back at last night’s debate, however, as one of the key moments in the election--one that smoothed Hillary Clinton’s so far bumpy path to the Presidency.

 

 Rob Horowitz is a strategic and communications consultant who provides general consulting, public relations, direct mail services and polling for national and state issue organizations, various non-profits and elected officials and candidates. He is an Adjunct Professor of Political Science at the University of Rhode Island.

 

Related Slideshow: Winners, Losers, and Defining Moments in First Clinton - Trump Debate

Prev Next

Steve Quist, Community Activist

1. Who do you think won?

Hands down no question Clinton.

2. Why do you think the other candidate lost?

Trump was on the defensive.

3. What was the defining moment - what does it mean for the campaigns moving forward? 


Trump's continually interrupting and scatter shot answers with no substance. Trump spewed a lot of verbiage and bloviation which was not all grounded in fact nor reality.
Going forward Trump swims uphill...Republicans battle the fallout down ticket and could well lose the US Senate -- incredible repercussions yet to materialize. I wonder if Trump will actually want to show up for the next debate.
 

Prev Next

Don Brand, Professor at Holy Cross

1. Who do you think won?

I would call Clinton the winner.

2. Why do you think the other candidate lost?

Trump was on the defensive more than Clinton (hardly anything on Clinton's email).

3. What was the defining moment - what does it mean for the campaigns moving forward? 

The turning point was the discussion on race. Trump's defense on birther issue was weak, and claiming he settled a racial discrimination suit with no admission of guilt is hardly proclaiming innocence. 
 

Prev Next

Joe Paolino, Clinton Apointee, Ambassador to Malta

1. Who do you think won?

I don't know if there's a big winner -- I know that some said there was a high bar set for Hillary Clinton and she surpassed it 

2. Why do you think the other candidate lost?

I think Trump lost a lot of points about  his taxes. Give us something -- he's the only person in 40 years who hasn't released them. And when it came to nuclear bomb and the whole discussion about NATO he didn't have the grasp that she did.

3. What was the defining moment - what does it mean for the campaigns moving forward? 
I think that when [Lester] Holt asked at the end, the Trump line that she didn't "look Presidential," I thought she'd give a Lincoln Chafee response and just end it there, but she didn't. I think it showed that Trump just doesn't have the temperament. 
 

Prev Next

Darrell West, Brookings

1. Who do you think won?

Clinton won the debate by controlling the conversation and getting many more of her attack lines into the debate. He barely mentioned her emails and made no mention of Benghazi.

2. Why do you think the other candidate lost?

He missed many opportunities to criticize her. Her killer line was that she she prepared for the debate and is prepared to be president.

He got irritated easily and had many sighs and groans. He did not have a good answer on why he has not released his tax returns.

3. What was the defining moment - what does it mean for the campaigns moving forward? 

He had a number of factual errors in his statements. This was not a close debate. She dominated from start to end.
 

Prev Next

Jennifer Duffy, Cook Report

1. Who do you think won?

I think Clinton "won," but I don't think she scored any knock out blows.

2. Why do you think the other candidate lost?

As expected, Trump wasn't prepared.  Clinton threw a lot of bait and Trump took it every time.

3. What was the defining moment - what does it mean for the campaigns moving forward? 

I don't know that there was a defining moment.  Whatever impact this debate may have will be short lived. I don't think this moved the needle much for either candidate.
 

Prev Next

Lisa Lawless, Professor at American University

1. Who do you think won?

Clinton, and it wasn't even close. She won on substance, style, and reminding viewers of her opponents weaknesses. She was prepared, kept her cool, and was very respectful of both Trump and Lester Holt.

2. Why do you think the other candidate lost?

Donald Trump was on the defensive the entire night. He attempted to bait Clinton and it never worked. But every time Clinton tried to do the same, Trump took the bait. You know it's bad when a candidate has to reference private conversations with Sean Hannity as a defense of his character and policy positions.

3. What was the defining moment - what does it mean for the campaigns moving forward? 

When Hillary Clinton responded to Trump's criticism that she wasn't campaigning this week, she told voters that she spent the week preparing for the debate, and that she'll also prepare when she's president. That one response really highlighted a key difference between them and the fact that experience matters. It also seemed that at that point, Trump started to come undone.
I should also note that there will likely be a lot of discussion about the extent to which Trump was sexist or was beating up on a woman. Here's my take: He was behaving EXACTLY the way he did with Bush, Rubio, etc. I see little here that is about Clinton being a woman. Trump has demonstrated time and again that he has no respect for people he debates, women or men. That's not to say that Trump isn't sexist. I think the evidence suggests he is. But I'm not sure that his behavior tonight is the best evidence for that claim.

 
 

Related Articles

 

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

 

X

Stay Connected — Free
Daily Email